New Delhi: On Thursday (July 22), there was an allegation that a few Opposition MPs “misbehaved” with the treasury bench members, including a minister, even after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned.
The ‘Pegasus spyware’ project seems to have lost its steam as self-proclaimed human rights organisation Amnesty International (Israeli chapter) claimed that they never said a recently leaked list of phone numbers was specifically a list of numbers targeted by the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
In India, the beleaguered opposition parties disagreed to ‘accept’ what looks imminent – just a hoax and motivated reporting on so-called ‘spying’ by the Indian government.
Thus, as the unruly behaviour continued, papers were ‘flung’ in Rajya Sabha on Thursday (July 22), Trinamool Congress member Shantanu Sen was suspended on Friday (July 23) morning for remaining part of the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament.
Sen was present in the House and before adjourning the House for about 35 minutes, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu also said, “Mr Shantanu Sen please leave the House.”
BJP president J P Nadda has accused the opposition of creating “obstacles” in the country’s development journey by disrupting Parliament to “save” its political existence.
Union Minister and his party colleague Meenakshi Lekhi condemned the conduct of the opposition members as a “new low.”
On Thursday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Shantanu Sen snatched papers from IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in the Upper House when he was upon his feet to make his statement on the raging Pegasus row and tore them.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan on Friday moved a resolution seeking the suspension of the errant member for his “unbecoming and unruly behaviour” that brought “disrepute” to the House.
As the House approved of it, chairman Venkaiah Naidu announced the suspension of the member.
Trinamool MPs Derek of Brien and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy raised certain objections saying they did not know such a resolution would come.
To this Chairman, Mr Naidu said, “I have approved this. It is about the dignity of the House.”
“The global fishing expedition launched by a syndicated of media organisations put out a malicious report with no evidence. They do not know the source of the list of phone numbers, nor do they know if numbers were spied on.
This is nothing but an attempt to undermine democracies,” tweeted BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya.
Lashing out at Trinamool Congress lawmaker Sen, Minister of State for IT and Skill Development, Rajeev Chandrasekhar tweeted: “Wanton hooliganism of @AITCofficial that has claimed 100s of lives in #WestBengal now displayed in Parliament against a gentleman minister @AshwiniVaishnaw. Disgraceful. Shameless behavior encouraged by @MamataOfficial who believes laws of land don’t apply to her or her party.
Meanwhile, according to cybersecurity journalist Kim Jetter, Amnesty International, in a new statement, has said the list of numbers was indicative of the interests of the company’s clients.
“Amnesty, and the investigative journalists and media outlets they work with have made clear from the outset in very clear language that this is a list of numbers marked as numbers of interest to NSO customers, meaning they are the kind of people NSO clients might like to spy on”.